The population of South Asia has tripled over the last 60 years and now accounts for around a quarter of the world’s population, with China alone accounting for around one-fifth.29 An estimated 210 million people living within and 1.3 billion people living downstream of the Hindu Kush Himalayas rely on freshwater obtained directly or indirectly from the rivers and tributaries of the region. There is an extremely high degree of dependence on these freshwater resources to sustain the livelihoods of rural communities and meet the food needs of urban populations. Water also supports navigation, energy production, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. At the same time, the region experiences the largest loss of life and damage in the world from water-related natural disasters. The economies of the HKH countries and the livelihoods of the majority of people within them are highly water dependent. Agriculture accounts for about 90% of all water withdrawals in HKH countries (higher than the world average of 70%).
From collection: The Himalayan Climate and Water Atlas